Nuit Blanche 2013

Here is a short review of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche 2013, an all night art extravaganza. How cool is that? Pretty cool.



ABOVE: Boris Achour, The rose is without why, 2013, sculpture

BELOW: Kelly Richardson, Mariner 9, 2012, video installation


This past Saturday, Nuit Blanche – an all night, art festival – took over the streets of Toronto.

Under a threatening sky, I joined a throng of thousands, and began my trek through the downtown core.

My first stop was Nathan Phillips Square where Ai Weiwei’s gargantuan sculpture, Forever Bicycles stood with imposing prominence. Hundreds of people stood around it taking hundreds of pictures.

Across the way, and emblazoned in neon, the words of an obscure German poet illuminated the square. The sculpture, titled The rose is without why by French artist Boris Acour was described in the Nuit Blanche program as follows:

“Mixing assorted elements stemming from highly diverse cultural and formal fields, Achour’s work establishes an open connective system in evolution based on the affirmation of the shape and the jubilation of the creation.”

Well duh! Of course it does.

A short walk from the square, stood Simon Franks Burrman. The artist himself was covered from head to toe in burrs, and the resulting look was that of a low-budget movie monster. It was a good look.

After snapping a few pics of the Burmann – who patiently posed for everyone – I narrowly dodged a mobile rave, then travelled further into Toronto’s financial district.

Over the next few hours, I took in a number of exhibits but truthfully, I found a great deal of what I saw underwhelming.

Eventually, I stumbled upon my favorite artwork of the night, Mariner 9 by UK artist Kelly Richardson.

I had been looking forward to seeing her video installation all week, and she definitely didn’t disappoint. I even liked the project description:

“This life-size, panoramic view of a Martian landscape is set hundreds of years in the future. Despite it’s suggested state of abandonment, several spacecraft continue to partially function and do their intended jobs, seeking signs of life, transmitting the data back to no one.”

Well said, and completely accessible. In a sea of academia, and downright pretension, I found this refreshing.

Finally, after cursing out some youngsters for milling about and being a general nuisance (not to their faces of course), it was time to call it a night.

I was home and in bed before the party really started, but it was a worthwhile experience, and I am already looking forward to next year.